Gordon Manson and Matt Jeffery

SIAT grads develop Surrey campus interactive map

September 17, 2008

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By Terry Lavender

Visitors to SFU’s Surrey campus will soon have electronic help to find their way around, thanks to a new interactive wayfinding system being developed by two recent SFU graduates.

Gordon Manson (left) and Matt Jeffrey (right), who earned degrees from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) this spring, have signed an agreement with the university to develop software for an interactive map. The map, which will be housed in a kiosk on the campus’ mezzanine level, will include such functions as room search, room information, current events and advising-centre information.

The system will even use artificial intelligence technology to map out the best route from the user’s current position to where they want to go, says Surrey facilities manager Marie Schneider.

The project was created for a fourth-year interdisciplinary design course. Manson says SIAT was an ideal environment in which to come up with the interactive wayfinder concept. "I was able to take studies involving user interface, software and hardware design/programming and business development – all of which have helped in this project’s genesis."

Schneider says the university will provide the touch-screen monitor and computer for one kiosk, as well as background maps and room information. Manson and Jeffrey will focus on the software and the interface. More kiosks may be added later if funding is available.

"When you first come to this campus you are struck by its unique architectural beauty," Schneider says. "But you might also be stuck finding your way around because of its atypical shape and structure. SFU is excited to work with our own students to develop a wayfinding system that showcases not only the building but also especially our talented graduates. This is knowledge in action."
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